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Shift in medical tourist demographics drives growth

Private hospital groups in Singapore are reporting double digit growth in foreign patient arrivals from last year. The continued growth in medical tourism is not really news, but there is a shift in the nationalities of the arrivals which is a little bit surprising given the fact that the Singapore dollar has appreciated significantly against most currencies, making medical treatment there pricier.

One of the major private hospital groups, Raffles Medical Group, reports that of the 26 percent increase in foreign arrivals most of them are from Indonesia. Other hospitals report strong growth from patients arriving from Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. The trend of increased medical tourist arrivals from countries in the region is very beneficial for the industry since the significant decline of wealth in western countries has impacted  the numbers from what were the traditional major sources of inbound patients.

Singapore continues to be a major destination for a number of specialized medical treatment, including procedures for renal diseases, colorectal-related disorders, cardiac diseases and cancer. 2010 saw a reported 665,000 foreign patients visit the country.

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